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Top Gun sequel sneak peek

Tom Cruise thrilled fans at San Diego Comic-Con by making a surprise appearance and offering a glimpse at the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick.

The star hit the stage at the San Diego Convention Center's fabled Hall H on Thursday for an unannounced appearance during Paramount's panel for Terminator: Dark Fate.

The Mission: Impossible star then presented a teaser for the much-anticipated Top Gun sequel, stating, "Everything you see here is for real. I really wanted to give you all an experience of what it is to be inside that aircraft."

Cruise also noted San Diego has a special connection to the project, adding, "34 years ago, I made a movie in San Diego and shot across the street in a restaurant.

"I've travelled around the world and people always say, 'When are you going to do another one (Top Gun)?' Well, for 34 years, you all have been very, very patient with me. And I felt it was my responsibility to finally really deliver for you.

The actor reprises his role as pilot Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell in the film, which also features Val Kilmer, Miles Teller, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly and Jon Hamm.

The sequel, which Cruise called "a love letter to aviation" picks up decades after the first instalment, and features Maverick piloting supercharged planes, while chatting to Harris' character about his longevity.

Cruise last attended Comic-Con in 2013 to promote Edge of Tomorrow.

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